Mikaela Shiffrin 4th in downhill, Sofia Goggia wins; Corinne Suter skis away from crash

Mikaela Shiffrin
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CORTINA D’AMPEZZO, Italy — The record chase can wait. Mikaela Shiffrin appeared pleased, though, that for most of the way down the mountain she was faster than Sofia Goggia in a discipline that is far from being her best event.

Shiffrin finished fourth, half a second behind Goggia, the winner, in a downhill race Friday on the course that will be used for skiing at the 2026 Milan-Cortina Olympics.

The result means that Shiffrin’s pursuit of a record-breaking 83rd World Cup victory will go on for at least another day — leaving her tied with former American teammate Lindsey Vonn for the women’s mark with 82 wins each.

“I don’t really believe that I would get 83 in downhill,” Shiffrin said. “But it’s certainly hard to come down in fourth so close and not think, ’Oh, maybe I could get on the podium tomorrow. The trick for me is to put those thoughts out of my mind.”

Two more races are scheduled in Cortina over the weekend, with another downhill on Saturday followed by a super-G on Sunday.

ALPINE SKIING: Full Results | Broadcast Schedule

Only three of Shiffrin’s 82 wins have come in downhill, an event she races only sparingly. She prefers to concentrate on her favored disciplines of slalom (51 wins) and giant slalom (17 wins).

Goggia, who won gold and silver in downhill at the last two Olympics, respectively, has now won four of the five downhills this season. She finished 0.13 seconds ahead of two-time world champion Ilka Stuhec, and 0.36 ahead of Kira Weidle of Germany.

Shiffrin was faster than Goggia through the first three checkpoints but finished 0.50 behind.

Shiffrin had some trouble landing a jump toward the end of her run, standing up to regain her balance. But overall she seemed satisfied with her performance, smiling and pumping her fist in the finish area.

“I froze and I got more air in the section that you don’t really want to get off the ground,” Shiffrin said. “That was a little bit harsh right on the last turn where you can build speed. So I could maybe be a bit smoother there. … I’ll try to make that adjustment.”

It also appeared that a clip on Shiffrin’s right boot came undone during her run, which might have reduced the control of her skis.

Vonn broke the previous win record, Annemarie Moser-Pröll’s mark of 62 victories, eight years ago in Cortina. Vonn retired four years ago when injuries cut her career short.

Shiffrin is also approaching Ingemar Stenmark’s overall mark — between men and women — of 86 victories. Stenmark competed in the 1970s and 80s.

As usual, Goggia’s season has been make-or-break. She broke two fingers in her left hand during a downhill in St. Moritz, Switzerland, last month, then returned after a quick surgery to win another downhill a day later.

Then she crashed nastily in a super-G last weekend in St. Anton, Austria, and sat out another super-G a day later as a precautionary measure, despite medical tests revealing no damage to her right knee.

But in this race, the Italian was perfect during the technical middle section where others struggled, gathering so much speed that she needed to briefly stick her arms out further down the course to regain her balance after a slight bobble.

When she reached the finish, Goggia seemed to know she had done something special, nodding her head a couple of times as if to say “yes, yes” — even though as the seventh starter, there were still several top favorites still to come down.

“It’s special to win our home race,” Goggia said. “My performance was really solid but still I have something to look at today at the video analysis, so I’ll be really focused for tomorrow.”

One of the other favorites, reigning Olympic champion Corinne Suter, was the victim of an ugly fall toward the end of her run. The Swiss skier fell hard on her left side after losing control during a jump but came to a stop before hitting the safety nets. After being checked out briefly, Suter got up and made it down to the finish on her own.

Marie-Michele Gagnon of Canada fell after doing the splits at high speed then slid down the mountain and got bumped up into the air, prompting the safety air bag inside her suit to inflate and soften the blow when she landed. She, too, got right back up.

With the 16th downhill win of her career, Goggia tied Katja Seizinger in fifth place on the women’s list for the discipline, which Vonn leads with 43 victories.

Weidle took silver on the same course during the 2021 World Championships.

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Ilia Malinin wins U.S. Figure Skating Championships despite quadruple Axel miss

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One year ago, Ilia Malinin came to the U.S. Championships as, largely, a 17-year-old unknown. He finished second to Nathan Chen in 2022 and was left off the three-man Olympic team due to his inexperience, a committee decision that lit a fire in him.

After the biggest year of change in U.S. figure skating in three decades, Malinin came to this week’s nationals in San Jose, California, as the headliner across all disciplines.

Though he fell on his quadruple Axel and doubled two other planned quads in Sunday’s free skate (the most ambitious program in history), he succeeded the absent Chen as national champion.

Malinin, the world’s second-ranked male singles skater, still landed two clean quads in Friday’s short program and three more Sunday. He totaled 287.74 points and prevailed by 10.43 over two-time Olympian Jason Brown, a bridge between the Chen and Malinin eras.

“This wasn’t the skate that I wanted,” said Malinin, who was bidding to become the second man to land six quads in one program after Chen. The Virginia chalked up the flaws at least partially to putting more recent practice time into his short program, which he skated clean on Friday after errors in previous competitions.

FIGURE SKATING NATIONALS: Full Results

Brown, a 28-year-old competing for the first time since placing sixth at the Olympics, became the oldest male singles skater to finish in the top three at nationals since Jeremy Abbott won the last of his four titles in 2014. As usual, he didn’t attempt a quad but had the highest artistic score by 9.41 points.

Brown’s seven total top-three finishes at nationals tie him with Chen, Michael WeissBrian Boitano, David Jenkins and Dick Button for the second-most in men’s singles since World War II, trailing only Todd Eldredge‘s and Hayes Jenkins‘ eight.

“I’m not saying it’s super old, but I can’t train the way I used to,” Brown said after Friday’s short program. “What Ilia is doing and the way he is pushing the sport is outstanding and incredible to watch. I cannot keep up.”

Andrew Torgashev took bronze, winning the free skate with one quad and all clean jumps. Torgashev, who competed at nationals for the first time since placing fifth in 2020 at age 18, will likely round out the three-man world team.

Japan’s Shoma Uno will likely be the favorite at worlds. He won last year’s world title, when Malinin admittedly cracked under pressure in the free skate after a fourth-place short program and ended up ninth.

That was before Malinin became the first person to land a quad Axel in competition. That was before Malinin became the story of the figure skating world this fall. That was before Malinin took over the American throne from Chen, who is studying at Yale and not expected to return to competition.

Malinin’s next step is to grab another label that Chen long held: best in the world. To do that, he must be better than he was on Sunday.

“You always learn from your experiences, and there’s always still the rest of the season to come,” he said. “I just have to be prepared and prepare a little bit extra so that doesn’t happen again.”

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Mark McMorris breaks Winter X Games medals record; David Wise wins first title in 5 years

Mark McMorris
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Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris broke his tie with American Jamie Anderson for the most Winter X Games medals across all sites, earning his 22nd medal, a slopestyle gold, in Aspen, Colorado.

On the final run of Sunday’s contest, McMorris overtook Norway’s Marcus Kleveland with back-to-back 1620s on the last two jumps. McMorris’ last three Aspen slopestyle titles were all won on his final run (2019, 2022).

“It’s something I never thought would ever come to me as a kid from Saskatchewan,” McMorris, 29, said on the broadcast. “Everything’s just been a bonus since I became a pro snowboarder.”

In a format introduced three years ago, athletes were ranked on overall impression of their best run over the course of a jam session rather than scoring individual runs.

McMorris won his record-extending seventh X Games Aspen men’s slopestyle title, one day after finishing fourth in big air.

“It just keeps getting crazier because I keep getting older,” he said. “People just keep pushing the limits, pushing the limits. Last night was such a downer, almost bums me out, like, dude, do I still have it? … To have one of those miracle wins where you do it on the last run and someone makes you push yourself, those are the best feelings.”

McMorris won slopestyle bronze medals at each of the last three Olympics and reportedly said last February that he was planning to compete through the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Games.

Canadian Max Parrot, the 2022 Olympic slopestyle champion, is taking this season off from competition.

Anderson, a two-time Olympic snowboard slopestyle champion, is expecting her first child.

Later Sunday, American David Wise earned his first major ski halfpipe title since repeating as Olympic champion in 2018. Wise landed back-to-back double cork 1260s to end his winning run, according to commentators.

“I wouldn’t still be out here if I didn’t think I had a chance,” Wise, 32 and now a five-time X Games Aspen champ, said on the broadcast. “I’m not going to be the guy who just keeps playing the game until everybody just begs me to stop.”

U.S. Olympian Mac Forehand won men’s ski big air with a 2160 on his last run, according to commentators. It scored a perfect 50. Olympic gold medalist Birk Ruud of Norway followed with a triple cork 2160 of his own, according to commentators, and finished third.

Canadian skier Megan Oldham added slopestyle gold to her big air title from Friday, relegating Olympic champion Mathilde Gremaud of Switzerland to silver.

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